With the spread of COVID-19, online scammers are taking the advice of "never let a crisis go to waste". As posted on Cyber Security Intelligence, cyber criminals who usually sensationalize the news now are disseminating accurate information about infection rates in an effort to spread their own malicious software infections. Scams include:
- False advertisements, including for non-existent vaccines.
- Links to fake news designed to spread panic. (Also, be wary of websites or Facebook posts claiming the epidemic is a "hoax"; they may undermine preparedness or advocate unproven remedies.)
- Appeals from fake charities.
In addition to malicious emails, remote workers must protect smart cameras and baby monitors from hackers. Zoom has also become a hacker target (they have taken measures to increase security).
Another scam is "vishing" (voice phishing) - phone calls to get private information. (Don't respond to callback numbers on robocalls.)
To avoid these scams, do not order online unless you can pay with a credit card. Get updates from reputable news and medical sources (but stay alert for news that websites have been hacked). Check the authenticity of appeals; call numbers you know are correct rather than those posted online.
Stay safe - at home and in cyberspace.